Dead Confederate and me (or, really, just me)
As many of you have probably figured out, one of the real joys I get from this blog is introducing others to the great local music of Athens and Atlanta. I'm fortunate to live in such a music-rich environment, and don't take it for granted. The blog also serves as motivation to see local bands I might not otherwise. One such occasion in January 2007 led me to see Dead Confederate at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta. I was there for the headliner rather than them, and all I knew of Dead Confederate was that they had recently changed their name from The Redbelly Band. Still pretty silly, but an improvement.
I mention all this because on that night, and one time I saw them again shortly afterward, I thought Dead Confederate sucked. As in, I thought they were out of their minds to play industry events and open for bands I enjoyed. What was the point? Fast forward a year, and Dead Confederate starts getting major buzz. Not just locally. What the hell was going on? I mean, the blogs and music press often pick up on unspectacular bands... but Dead Confederate? Convinced it was the work of publicists and overzealous bloggers, I ignored the whole episode. Until, really, a week or two ago. While speaking with Dan Geller (Kindercore Records; Ruby Isle, USSR, I am the World Trade Center, etc.), he praised the current Dead Confederate release. I told him of my reservations, and he said the band had come a long way since the days I'd seen them. That brings us to today.
I finally, just now, listened to the Dead Confederate EP. It's.... pretty good. Sure, it's more straight-ahead indie rock than I tend to like, but I can see why it got people excited. Now I understand the comparisons to Sonic Youth that have littered their press clippings in a way that seemed ridiculous before. Opener "Memorial Day Night" is surprisingly mellow, and later tracks are infused with elements of classic metal and noise rock. Closer "Shadow the Walls" doesn't do much for me, but I could easily imagine it on alternative rock radio. Generally, the EP does its job. I'm curious about the full-length record, and that's more than I would have said not long ago.
Dead Confederate - The Rat [at Zshare]
If you'd like to author your own rambling post, pick up the EP from AthensMusic.Net. The band appears at The EARL in Atlanta on June 7, and have a number of upcoming dates with Drive-By Truckers.
Bonus mp3: The Redbelly Band - On the Beach [Neil Young; 2-23-2006]